SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


Geography: Maine

Maine voters approve $50 million in tech: Why it matters to all of us

Maine voters approved a special referendum on June 13 that will issue $50 million in bonds to fund investment in research, development and commercialization in the state’s seven targeted technology sectors. The Maine Technology Institute will distribute $45 million of the funds for infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades. The remaining $5 million will be used to recapitalize the Small Enterprise Growth Fund to create jobs and economic growth by lending to or investing in qualifying small businesses.

States scramble to negotiate final budgets; DE, LA, ME, MO, NH, VT and WA reviewed for innovation funding

With a July 1 start to the fiscal year in most states, several states that were at an impasse over their budget faced at least partial shutdowns. Last minute negotiations restarted services in both Maine and New Jersey, while Illinois, which has been operating without a budget since 2015, faces threats of a downgrade in their credit rating if a deal cannot be reached. This week we present our findings of innovation funding from seven states, including $2 million in funding for a new public-private economic development organization in Delaware, an increase in funding in Louisiana for the state’s scholarship program for higher ed, and cuts to higher ed funding in Missouri, which also saw a severe drop in its funding to the Missouri Technology Corporation. Efforts in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington are also detailed below.

Tech Talkin’ Govs Part V: MD, ME, TX keep education in mind

With the latest round of state of the state or budget addresses, the states’ governors focused on their states’ financial situation. Education and economic development were still on the minds of leaders in Maine, Maryland, and Texas. With this fifth installment, less than 10 governors have yet to deliver their addresses in the coming weeks or months.

State budgets addressing TBED initiatives; review of ID, ME, WA

As governors around the country are releasing their proposed budgets, SSTI is examining the proposals for TBED initiatives and will be presenting the findings here. This week Idaho, Maine and Washington are reviewed. Check back in the coming weeks for updates.

Election 2016 Updates

NC Gov. Pat McCrory conceded the election to Democrat Roy Cooper on Monday after a recount he requested in Durham County was showing no change in the election results.  Acknowledging that it was a divisive election, Gov.-elect Cooper said, “I know still that there is more that unites us than divides us.”  Cooper will face a Republican super majority in both chambers of the state legislature.

EDA Grants Support Regional Innovation

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced a number of grants last week to aid regional innovation and entrepreneurship efforts through infrastructure improvements, the creation of new spaces, and business improvements in regions across the country. The grants fund projects in AR, AZ, CA, ME, MI, and OH.

ME Considers State-Run EB-5 Program, GAO Report Looks at Economic Impact of EB-5 Programs

Due to a lack of activity by the state’s three privately-run regional EB-5 centers that serve the state of Maine, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (MECD) is considering launching its own EB-5 visa program to attract more direct foreign investment to the state, according to the Bangor Daily News.

State Budgets Target Investments in Workforce, Higher Education

As governors around the country begin their newest terms, their proposed budgets are beginning to take shape. Although few governors specifically target technology based economic development, after the first wave of budgets a variety of initiatives related to workforce development and higher education have garnered support.

TBED Ballot Issues, Bond Proposals Fare Well in Midterm Elections

In case you missed it, the midterm elections were on Tuesday, resulting in Republicans taking control of Congress, several new governors, and five states endorsing minimum wage increases.

Ballot Preview: Voters to Decide on Taxes, GMOs, Higher Ed

On November 4, 42 states will vote on 146 ballot issues across a wide array of issues. In addition to initiatives on gun control, bear baiting, and the minimum wage, several initiatives relevant to the TBED community are also up for decision. SSTI has gathered information on many of these and will discuss their results after next week’s elections.

Lab Space, Commercialization Support Backed by State Governments

State legislators in many parts of the country took action this year to fund the construction of research infrastructure and provide financial support for commercialization. In Kansas, New York, Georgia, Maine and Wyoming, legislators funded the construction of laboratories and other innovative spaces at public universities to boost the high-tech economy. In Colorado, Maryland and a number of universities, new initiatives were rolled out to support public-private research collaborations and the commercialization of cutting-edge technology.

States Pass Innovation-Focused Legislation

Investments and policy to support innovation-focused agendas have flourished with the close of the 2014 legislative sessions in several states. Crowdfunding legislation, incentives for attracting talent, higher education affordability, punishing patent trolls, and encouraging greater accountability are some of the areas where lawmakers focused their efforts.

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